After working on the project for two years, two astrophotographers have recently uncovered an intricately detailed picture of the Moon. The image was created by piecing together more than 200,000 photos of the Moon over a two-year period. Typically, the Moon is seen as a large gray celestial body in the night sky. The new image has a rare view of our lunar neighbor in stunning colors. The people behind the image are astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy and planetary scientist Conor Mathern, who worked in collaboration on the project, according to NPR.
Both of them, who were connected on social media, used to share and praise each other’s work before forming the team. “When he and I put our heads together we were able to brand something different for both of us, which is good. The whole thing is assembled like a mosaic, and each tile is made up of thousands of photos,” says McCarthy told NPR,
Two years ago, I teamed up with fellow astrophotographer and planetary scientist @MatherneConnor To capture the most ridiculously detailed moon image we could. Over the past few months we’ve put our heads together again to clarify something more. behold: pic.twitter.com/SebeDRJx2h
— Andrew McCarthy (@AJamesMcCarthy) 20 August 2022
While McCarthy is adept at taking detailed photographs and capturing the geological features of the lunar surface, Mathern is adept at taking photographs in colors and deep space.
In a single evening, McCarthy took more than 200,000 detailed photographs of the Moon from Arizona in the US. Meanwhile, Matherne clicked 500 images from Louisiana to collect the color data.
Thereafter, the two spent nine months working together on editing to create the best possible image of the Moon. “Andrew purely aimed for the detail side, while I aimed purely for the color side. This allowed us to get the full moon,” Matherne said.
The 174-megapixel image shows the Moon in shades of red and gunmetal blue, with illumination on one side where it faces Earth. McCarthy Explained In a tweet, that the red areas are, “Iron and feldspar, oxidation caused by misplaced oxygen atoms from Earth.”
According to astrophotographers, while their work is quite technical, a camera, tripod and a star tracker are all that is needed to complete such work. However, McCarthy said patience presents a challenge in such projects.